I have never been on Facebook so I don't feel qualified to analyze its latest "news," that Goldman Sachs (GS) invested $450 million and that its clients -- including Digital Sky/Mail.ru Group (LSE:MAIL) -- will invest another $1,550 million in Facebook over time.
I say "news" in quotes because there does not actually seem to be any formal news about this on either Facebook's or Goldman Sach's web site. I am sorry but I am so 20th Century. I would like to hear from the principals to help me make up my mind about what's happening. Most reporting on the subject cites people that cannot be quoted. Because I'm not a Goldman Sachs client and/or don't have $2,000,000 to invest in Facebook (nor do any of the others spouting off on this subject), Facebook and GS don't care what I or they think. Anybody that met the criteria got an email about it over the weekend of January 1/2, 2010 (talk about being so 20th Century!). Was it old-fashioned email or was it that new fangled F-mail?
So all I have is the New Year's Day news blast out of the mainstream media and the blogosphere and all that did for me was raise a lot of important questions that investment-technology (IT) investors should keep in mind about the Facebook/GS news (in order of importance):
- Did Zuckerberg really shat all over that woman, as depicted at the beginning of the movie, and/or does he really have the same girlfriend he's had since high school, as he told Leslie Stahl (or was it Dianne Sawyer)?
- Does Vladimir Putin really own Mail.ru Group and/or is there a chance Digital Sky's founder will also get sent to Siberia?
- Is the stock symbol "F" already taken and/or might they use FU when they IPO?
- Does all this $50 billion valuation stuff mean Goldman Sachs and its clients now/will own 2% of Facebook and/or a half of a percent?
- What day will Zuckerberg speak at Davos and/or is he just on a panel with Bono, Warren Buffet, the Dalai Lama and Al Gore?
- Was the Asian-American woman, depicted later in the movie doing the Monica Lewinsky with Zuckerberg in the men's room, just a casual acquaintance and/or is she driving Facebook's marketing thrust (so to speak) into East Asia?
- Are 30% of all advertising dollars already being spent online (per a c-span.org-broadcast seminar from American University) and/or are Facebook and Google (GOOG) involved in a mano a mano battle over a finite and almost exhausted pot of gold
- Does that mean Microsoft (MSFT) turned $270 million into a billion and a half in a couple of years and/or did it already sell off its stake via the under the counter market for Facebook shares
- Is P.T. Barnum right and/or is a company that thinks dedicating 15 engineers to a 1980-era e-mail engine is equivalent to the moon landing really worth more than Boeing?
-- Dennis Byron
(No financial interest in companies mentioned)